Saturday, 23 May 2009

Chickpea Fritters

This is part of my resolution to actually cook something from the various food magazines I buy every month. These little chickpea fritters are from Olive. I made them as a starter when some friends came over, but they are pretty filling so would make a good lunch. I layered them with chargrilled aubergine and mozzarella and a tomato and coriander salsa. A deviation from the actual recipe which suggests using beetroot instead of aubergine, I've earmarked this for next time.

Whilst they were definitely delicious, flavoured with tahini, coriander and garlic, they are a little time consuming to make - separating eggs, whisking egg whites and the like. Don't let it put you off, just be prepared to spend a decent 30mins on it. The good news is leftovers keep pretty well, I actually made mine in the morning and warmed them through in the oven.


makes 8-10 small fritters

1 can chickpeas, drained
150ml milk
2 eggs, separated
1tsp baking powder
100g plain flour
1 small bunch coriander, chopped (reserves some for garnish)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
2tsp tahini
lemon, a good squeeze
1 aubergine, sliced
1 mozzarella ball, sliced
Tomato Salsa
250g cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
small bunch coriander, chopped
2tbsp olive oil
1tbsp lemon juice

  • To make the tomato salsa, mix all the ingredients and season well.
  • Drizzle the aubergine slices in a little sunflower oil and rub in.
  • Heat a large griddle pan and fry the aubergines for a few minutes on each side until soft.
  • Remove from the pan, season well and squeeze over a little lemon juice.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl,whisk the egg yolks and milk into a smooth paste.
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and whisk in well.
  • Add the coriander, garlic, tahini, chilli and lemon juice and stir well.
  • Now stir in the chickpeas.
  • Whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks, fold gently into the chickpea mixture.
  • Heat a large frying pan and add a little oil. Spoon in about 1tbsp of mixture at a time into the pan and cook for 2-3mins on each side. you should get 8-10 fritters
  • Drain on kitchen paper once cooked.
  • To assemble, layer a fritter, a slice of aubergine and a slice of mozzarella and spoon over a little tomato salsa.


Monday, 18 May 2009

Spicy Noodle Soup

One of us had man flu tonight. So, I decided a spicy, warming noodle soup would be both restorative and cleansing. This is a recipe I turn to often, I got the idea when tsting recipes for a book.

Simply heat up some stock (about 600ml for 2) and by stock I mean bouillon powder dissolved in water until just boiling, then switch off. Meanwhile, chop lots of garlic, ginger and chilli finely and throw it into the stock, leaving it to infuse whilst you get on with the rest. If you have coriander, try chopping the stalks as finely as possible and adding to the broth now, I also add a drizzle of sesame oil. This create a delicious broth full of flavour, the perfect base for most things. Try it with or without noodles, I like to cook the noodles in the broth itself, although it's often a tight squeeze, as the take on the flavour and the starch thickens the soup slightly.

Next onto the vegetables. Use whatever you have, sliced mushrooms, carrots cut into matchsticks, shredded greens, diced courgettes, baby sweetcorn, green beans. Bring the stock back to the boil and add a couple of noodle nests, poke them around in the broth until softened and throw in the veggies. Stir as best you can, cover and leave to steam for 5 or so mins until the noodles are soft and the vegetables cooked. Finish with a drop of soy, stir well, scatter over coriander if you have it and eat. The noodles and vegetables take on the flavours of the spicy aromatic broth and you're left with a comforting, healthy dinner in next to no time. Read more...

Thursday, 14 May 2009


Another student recipe, perfect for eating with a big group of friends. Surprisingly healthy, this is ful of veggies and will make a couple of chicken breasts go a really long way. We also had some sliced chillis on the side so you can make it really spicy if you're into that kind of thing...

Thinly sliced chicken breast, marinated in a punchy mix of paprika, ground cumin and ground coriander. Fry it up with lots of sliced onions and peppers. Load this onto your tortilla, top with some grated cheese, guacamole, a fresh and zesty salsa and a big dollop of soured cream (or yoghut). Then roll it up and stuff it into your mouth - be prepared for a bit of a mess.


2 chicken breasts, sliced
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp paprika
2 onions, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped

1 avocado
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lime
2tbsp yoghurt

Tomato salsa
200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 red onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cucumber, finely chopped
1/2 bunch coriander, chopped
1 lime
1tbsp olive oil

To serve:
200g grated cheese
1 small pot soured cream
8 tortillas, warm

  • Put the chicken in a freezer bag and sprinkle over the spices.Close the bag, massage the spices into the meat and leave whilst you prepare the rest of the vegetables. Ideally, you'd leave it overnight to marinate in the fridge.
  • Heat a large frying pan with a little oil, add the peppers, onions, garlic and chilli and cook over a high heat until softened.
  • Remove from the pan and add the chicken, cook for 5 mins or so until browned. Add the onions and peppers back to the pan and cook for another few mins. Season well.
  • For the guacamole, scoop the flesh out of the avocado and mash well, add the garlic, juice from the lime and yoghurt and stir well. Season well.
  • For the salsa, simply mix the tomato, onion, cucumber, coriander and garlic together, squeeze over the lime juice, drizzle over the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and stir well.


Spicy Sausage Pasta

A simple bowl of pasta. Cheap, cheerful and full of flavour.

Put a large pot of water onto boil, and cook some pasta - whatever you have to hand really. Heat a large chopped garlic and chilli in a glug of olive oil. Add a couple of sliced sausages and fry until golden brown and caramelised. Pour in a can of chopped tomatoes, season well, perhaps add a pinch of sugar and simmer for 10mins or so until it's reduced and full of flavour. Add your cooked pasta to the sauce, mix well and throw in some shredded basil if you have it.


Monday, 11 May 2009

Carrot and Coconut Cake

Inspired by this recipe on - I was all set to make a crazy sugar free super healthy cake. Thwarted by my local shops and with a distinct lack of dates, this isn't as healthy as I'd hoped for. But, like I said if you want to do that, make this recipe instead.

What I did come up with was a tropical carrot cake if you will, packed with dessicated coconuts, raisins and carrots. Perfect for an afternoon pick me up and I'd imagine all the better with some cream cheese frosting.


125ml oil
225g soft brown sugar (or 200g caster sugar )
3 eggs
3 medium carrots, grated
175g plain flour
2 1/2tsp baking powder
2tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp nutmeg
50g raisins, soaked in boiling water for 5mins and drained
100g dessicated coconut

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan 160C. Oil and line the base and sides of a loaf tin with baking paper. I usually just use one big piece to line the base and the longer sides and don't bother with the shorter ones.
  • Whisk the sugar, oil and eggs together until well combined.
  • Sprinkle in the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and flour, using a wooden spoon, stir into a thick batter.
  • Stir in the carrots, coocnut and raisins. Spoon into the loaf tin.
  • Bake in the ven for 30-40mins until its firm and springy on top and a cake tester comes out clean.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Lamb Saag

So, first up apologies for the absence. I've been cooking of course and I have a whole raft of recipes ready to write about, i guess life just gets in the way sometimes...

Next up for OxNosh is a booklet of recipes for students and we spent the bank holiday weekend developing recipes. The idea is that they're easy, obviously but we've also kept the ingredient list as short as possible whilst delivering big flavours so that it's likey to turn out edible and hopefully tasty if even the most inexperienced cook tries it.

This curry was one of our triumphs, using cheaper cuts of lamb designed for long and slow cooking. Leave this to do its thing puttering away slowly on the hob so that you're left with a rich dark curry, meltingly tender. Extra brownie points for sneaking in some vegetables too, bearing our audience in mind, we also tried this with frozen spinach. I was initially unconvinced, but it worked and keeps it green colour well.

I would also make loads of this and freeze it for a treat at a later date. If you're making it for lots of people like we did, try doing a daal or vegetable curry to go alongside and make the meat go further. Eat with fluffy white rice and yoghurt.


Serves 4
2tbsp sunflower oil
750g lamb shoulder or neck fillet cut into cubes
1tbsp flour
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 garlic gloves, finely chopped
2tsp ground coriander
2tsp ground cumin
2tbsp tomato puree
1 tin chopped tomatoes
200g frozen spinach

  • Put the lamb into a bowl, sprinkle over the flour and season well.Heat a large casserole with the sunflower oil, add the lamb to the pan in small batches, allowing it brown it on all sides before removing it.
  • Once the lamb is cooked, add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook on a low heat until browned.
  • Add the spices and lamb to the pan and cook for a few mins, stirring all the time.Add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil and simmer for 45mins until the lamb is tender.
  • Before you want to serve the curry, stir in the frozen spinach and cook for another 5minutes.